This cake came together as a cross between techniques from my Dona Tomas cookbook, multiple online resources and my own tweaking.
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- Dash of cinnamon
- Line a round cake pan with a piece of parchment, then grease the paper and sides of the pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Add the eggs and both extracts. Beat well.
- Add the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Turn the cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Remove paper.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3/4 granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- A rounded 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- Put the milk, sugar, corn syrup and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk occasionally to prevent boiling over.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in water. Rapidly whisk the baking soda mixture into the saucepan, removing it from the heat if it looks like it will spill over.
- Decrease the heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the mixture has cooked down and turned dark brown and thick.
- Remove from heat and pass through a fine-mesh strainer.
The Sauce and Fillings
- 1 1/2 pints strawberries, sliced (reserve a few unsliced for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup cajeta (room temperature)
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 quart heaving whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract (or more to taste)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Shredded coconut as needed
- In a bowl, toss the strawberries with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cajeta, condensed milk, 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream and coconut milk. Mix well. Set aside.
- In another separate bowl, use an electric mixer on high to whip the 1 quart whipping cream to medium peaks. Add both extracts and the powdered sugar towards the end of the whipping process.
- Slice the cake in half crosswise with a long serrated knife. Place the bottom half on the serving plate. On a separate plate, place the top half of the cake with the cut side up. Using a tablespoon, spoon half of the milk mixture over the bottom of the cake, letting it soak in evenly and completely. (This may take awhile. I used a toothpick to prick little holes throughout the cake so the sauce would soak into the cake more readily.)
- Using half of the remaining milk mixture, soak the top half of the cake.
- Spread a 1/8 inch layer of the whipping cream evenly over the bottom half of the cake. Sprinkle a good layer of shredded coconut over the whipped cream. Arrange a layer of the strawberries on top. Sprinkle with more coconut.
- Cover with another layer of whipped cream, coconut, strawberries and more coconut.
- Finish with another thin layer of whipped cream. Carefully place the top half of the cake on top of the last whipped cream layer, cut side down.
- Soak the very top of the cake with the remaining milk mixture. (I had some left over, which I drizzled over the slices of cake.)
- Cover the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream, spreading evenly over the top and sides. Sprinkle cake with shredded coconut and decorate with whole or sliced strawberries on top.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. (Refrigerate any leftovers.)
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